Category Archives: Homily

Our life here on earth: an exile from our Heavenly Homeland?


Christ the Man of Sorrows”  Colijn de Coter, 1500

Many believe that our life here on earth is an exile from our Heavenly Homeland and since sin entered the world we have been deprived of our heavenly inheritance.

The thread that I see throughout our readings today is the love and mercy of God and our response to this love and mercy by Faith.

(Continued in Homilies…)

Dc. Steve Manzene is the Permanent Deacon at the linked Churches of St. Joseph the Worker/ Immaculate Heart of Mary, Liverpool, N.Y., Diocese of Syracuse.

“lead us not into temptation”

The Our Father & Pope Francis’ Suggested Change

When I read about the Pope’s suggested change from: “lead us not intoThe_Temptation_of_Christ_by_the_Devil_-_Google_Art_Project temptation” to “God help us not to fall into temptation,” made sense to me and I even began to incorporate this change when I prayed the Our Father.

Last week in preparing for my Homily for the first Sunday of Lent specifically Mark’s gospel regarding The Temptation of Jesus I found a few reasons why it should remain in its original content. They are:

  • The Jewish thought at the time of Jesus was that whenever a person received in honor, testing or temptation followed. In understanding the first verse of Mark’s gospel we had to look back to Jesus’ Baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove and a voice from the cloud said: “this is my beloved Son in whom I am very well pleased.” This certainly was an honor and according to Jewish thought temptation would follow.

  • In our baptism we also received a great honor: in our baptism we died with Christ so that we can also live with Christ forever and eternal life. I looked upon this as an honor and keeping with the Jewish thought temptation would follow.

  • Jesus overcame the temptations because God was present with him in his humanity with the angels ministering to him. In our temptation God is with us too. Remember, Jesus’ great temptation when he asked the Father if this cup could pass from him but not his will but God’s will be done. What happened? God sent an angel to strengthen Him.

As I looked at the results that happen to us when we are tempted and that they were positive and strengthened our relationship with God, temptation made sense to me.

  • Temptation helps us to detach ourselves from the things of this earth and focus on God.

  • Temptation helps us to develop a more ardent desire to be with God in heaven.

  • When we are tempted we become disturbed by temptation and see the danger of committing sin which disappoints God and overcoming temptation shows our love for God.

  • It renews our determination to avoid sin and not to offend God.

St. Augustine says:

“Our pilgrimage cannot be exempt from trial we progress by means of trial no one knows themselves except through trial or receives a crown except after victory or strives against an enemy temptations.

If in Christ we have been tempted, in Christ we overcame the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in Christ, and see yourself as victorious in Christ. He could have kept the devil from Himself but if Jesus was not tempted he could not teach us how to triumph over temptation.”

In our Baptism we received the strength of the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation and the graces we need for eternal life.

God has given us the gifts and graces we need, now it’s up to us to use them.

God Bless – Deacon Steve


What is wrong with the world today?

The scriptures for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time describe the End Times, and yet the eschatology of both the prophet Malachi and Gospel author Luke provide an important insight into our preoccupation… our “distraction” with the cataclysmic events in the world.  Instead of focusing on our own sinful ways and being true to Christ’s teachings, we are in Paul’s words from the 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians:  “conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way,
 by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.

Listen to Dc. Tim’s homily at

Centering on Jesus

As we enter the season of Lent centering our lives on Jesus enables us to enter into a renewal of faith… a conversion of heart opening us to the salvific act of Jesus.

Deacon Tim McNerney’s homily at St. Paul Church in Norwich, New York on the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time is based upon Jeremiah 17:5-8 and the Gospel of Luke, Ch 6:17,20-26. If you’d would like to listen to Dc. Tim’s homily, click the link below.


Said the night wind to the little lamb

The day after Christmas, I was driving across I-10 listening to music (rather than ESPN Radio) when this song came on. I had heard it thousands of times, but all of a sudden I had tears in my eyes and knew there had to be a message in this song and began researching its origins. The night before the Epiphany Vigil, it finally came together.

[Link to Ephiphany Sunday Homily]

Deacon Gayden R. Harper
Diocese of Biloxi

Staying in True…

“Staying in true”.  What do those three words mean?  Well, to a serious cyclist, it means well-tuned spokes, a solid wheel rim and a wheel that runs straight and true on a speedy downhill descent!  In reflecting upon the call to vocation cycling_fastexpressed in both the Hebrew Scripture reading from the prophet Amos, and also the Gospel of Mark on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, I presented how we respond to that call by describing it within the context of a bicycle wheel.

Sunday, July 12, 2009 was my first opportunity to serve with Fr. Ralph Bove, our newly appointed parish administrator for both St. Bartholomew the Apostle and St. Paul Churches in Norwich, N.Y.  I felt a bit apprehensive about bringing in a “prop” for my homily:  the high-tech 27″ road bike wheel from my Lemond Zurich cycle. However, the wheel was just the right touch to bring home the point to our parishioners.

Like to hear an audio recording of my homily:  “Staying in True”?  Follow the link below to the Homilies page.  And let me know what you think!
AUDIO HOMILY LINK: Staying in True

Dc. Tim McNerneysignature-fname.thumbnail